William B. "Jr." Gray, 95, of Zearing, Iowa passed away at his home, surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. A visitation will be held on Monday, April 23, 2018 from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. at the Bethel United Methodist Church in Zearing, Iowa. His funeral will begin at 11:00 a.m. following the visitation at the Church with Pastor Tom Poppy officiating. Burial with military rites will follow at the Lincoln Township Cemetery in Zearing, Iowa.
Jr. was born in Zearing, Iowa on March 5, 1923 to William J. and Gertrude (Barr) Gray. As a young child his family relocated to Radcliffe, Iowa where he graduated from Radcliffe High School in 1941. Shortly after high school Jr. enlisted in the Army and honorably served with the 63rd Infantry during WWII. He was stationed in the Philippines, New Guinea, and Korea. After the war Jr. returned to Iowa where he began working construction and then for Frohwein's Trucking Company in Zearing. He married the love of his life Wilma Walters in Hubbard on June 25, 1947. The couple moved to Zearing where they raised their family together. Jr. began working for the Animal Disease Lab, in Ames, in the early 1970's and retired from there in 1986. Jr. was a member of Bethel United Methodist Church in Zearing, and the Zearing American Legion Post #116 for 73 years. Jr. loved to spend time with his family and enjoyed watching his grandkids play baseball and softball. He also enjoyed fishing, bowling, watching baseball, and helping Zearing locals out with his skid loader.
Those left to cherish his loving memory are his wife of 70 years Wilma Gray, of Zearing, IA; children Bruce (Rosie) Gray of Zearing, IA, Judie (Jim) Carver of Rockwell City, IA, and Jim Gray of Story City, IA; grandchildren Robbie (Jenny) Gray, Stuart (Steph) Gray, Brian (Missy) Carver, Jason Carver, Kevin (Brandie) Carver, Wendy (Bobby) Brachle, Jeff (Laurie) Gray; 21 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren; brother-in-law Merle Walters; sister-in-law Donna Weisser; many nieces, nephews, and close friends.
Jr. was preceded in death by his parents; sister Lorene Perisho-Golly; sisters-in-law Judy Walters and Edna Walters; and brothers-in-law Carl Weisser and Dave Walters.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Bethel United Methodist Church or to the Jr. Gray Memorial Fund.
Fredregill Funeral & Cremation Care has been entrusted with the care of Jr. and his family.
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I always loved being around JR. He was witty and fun! I know how proud he was of his family. My sincere sympathy goes out to all of you! He lived a long life and got to enjoy all his family! Prayers to Wilma and the rest of the family!
I'm so very sorry to hear about the passing of Bill. He was quite the guy, made me laugh, and I was blessed to share some of his military stories. He was a hero! I'm very lucky to have had the chance to know him! May he rest in peace.
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